Childhood Education
18 December, 2023

How Early Childhood Education Shapes Little Minds

Childhood Education: All children will learn as they age. It’s an automatic process designed by evolution as a survival aid.

However, it is now generally accepted by specialists that participation in earlier structured education such as that offered by an early learning centre, may prove to be highly beneficial to their development and later learning abilities.

The Early Childhood Education Learning Centre – what is it?

This term might be used to mean several things, with some childhood education companies building it into their business name. It’s important to research the precise context of the expression when you encounter it.

In the educational sense, it usually means an establishment specialising in bringing structured learning to their childcare facilities. That usually implies learning through play – something that will happen spontaneously anyway but with an early learning childhood education centre, that play will be oriented towards increased opportunities for children to learn in line with a designed plan.

This shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean effort-intensive formal lessons for 2-year-olds! The emphasis at all times remains on fun and games but with a background framework of ensuring that some of that play is stimulating and with a learning objective in mind.

It is usually mixed in with entirely unstructured play to allow children to develop their own scenarios and strategies for learning. That is often critically important for the development of their own reasoning skills and imagination. The exact percentage split between managed and unstructured play may vary from one early learning centre to another.

Is it a separate institution?

Some establishments will specifically operate under the banner of being an Early Learning Childhood Education Centre. However, some specialist centres described as “Child Daycare Centres” might also provide Early Learning Centre services.

In either case, it’s a sound idea to discuss with the potential provider of services exactly what they mean by early learning services and how they provide them.

How it helps children develop

A child playing alone or with others to their own schedule is massively beneficial for their imagination and self-management.

However, research has shown that with a little careful background structure and direction, children may learn faster and more broadly. Specific activities can be designed that will aid their mechanical skills, bodily control, verbal articulation, audio-spatial awareness, empathy, cooperative skills, numeracy, literacy and powers of reasoning.

That same research has indicated that children offered such opportunities typically suffer fewer educational problems downstream and are considerably less likely to require remedial assistance in later education than those who do not.

Early learning centres and IQ

Few subjects have proven to be so controversial for well over a century than intelligence and how to measure/develop it.

Today, most experts agree that a child’s intellectual abilities, as demonstrated in later life, are the product of genetic inheritance coupled with environment and education.

However potentially gifted a child may be thanks to their genes, they may struggle to achieve their full potential without the appropriate educational stimulation. Research also indicates that such stimulation should come as early as possible in their development, with some researchers lamenting that conventional education, usually seen as 5+ years of age, is too late to start helping to develop a child’s natural potential.

While there is no evidence to suggest that an Early Learning Centre can help to increase a child’s latent abilities, studies do show that such activities can help natural talents to develop faster and ultimately more extensively than if education is delayed until 5-7 years of age.

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